The wonderful thing about Tiggers!

Within days of his arrival in the Hundred Acre Wood that is Highfields Church, I noticed the remarkable similarities between Simon Price, our new fresh-out-of-bible college Assistant Pastor and AA Milne’s character Tigger!

Peter Baker | 22:01, Tuesday, 20 October 2011

My early view has changed little.  In all but his fastidious tidiness, Simon Price is Tigger on Speed!  From day one it was bounce, bounce, bounce whenever he was around! 

Some of his ideas were in Tigger speak "ridickorous"  but great and together we crashed happily into a heap of laughter at another kite which didn't fly!! Permission to dream and fail has always been something I enjoy encouraging.  So I know that the stairwell outside my study will be a quieter but less exciting place over the next few months. 

For over five years, energy, enthusiasm and encouragement have been among Simon's greatest gifts to the Church.  His positive can do attitude has taken so many challenges and turned them into opportunities for the gospel. It's a quality worth having on any team.

His infectious investment in so many younger men has been a particularly effective element of his ministry.  Outstanding too has been his servant heart which has seen him set up meeting rooms, tidy the Church, make coffee and generally be the "go to guy" for so many of the hidden elements of Church life and Staff interactions.

His preaching ministry and leadership has been increasingly and widely valued. And without his wonderfully supportive wife Sharon, whose own teaching gifts and personal work have been enormously significant, Tigger would not have been half as bouncy! 

It is a sad but ultimately positive outcome that the Prices' need the room now to develop further.  And that can best happen through their Senior leadership ministry of the strategic Kensington Baptist Church in Bristol.

I believe that after five years with us there is a large amount of Wise Owl in him now.  Mercifully we have not turned him into Eeyore!!

In private and sometimes in public, I have tended to nickname him "Priceless".  And so with his wife and his children Ted and Phoebe, they will always remain that to me, indeed to us all.  

Simon's appointment has been in many ways a superb example of what Highfields Church can do strategically for the Kingdom of God. Take a young(ish) man with potential for full time Christian Ministry and give him five years to grow.  At the end of which his character and competence have developed to such an extent that he is more than capable of leading his "own" Church. 

Not that any serious minded, biblically shaped Pastor would ever think any church was "his".  The whole operation belongs to God. This is His Church, we are His workers.  Some plant the Word, others water, but God makes it grow.  So we rejoice in the privilege of shaping a family for ministry, we thank them and pray God's blessing upon them as they leave one part of God's mission field for another. 

 

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